Longtime Mayor Olson Needs to Answer for Fiscal Stress in Village of Fayetteville
Updated: Jun 1, 2021
(April 6, 2021) According to the NYS Comptroller Thomas D. Napoli’s updated 2020 Fiscal Distress Monitoring System report for local governments that was released on April 2, the Village of Fayetteville is the only reporting village in Onondaga County to be listed in a stress category. The Village scored 55.8 (Moderate Stress) as a result of its inability to generate the required revenue to meet expenses and its high fixed costs. In the 2019 report, the Village was listed with a score of 52.5 (Susceptible to Stress) and was warned that significant changes need to be made to properly prepare for any unforeseen crisis. Despite this advanced warning, Mayor Olson was not prepared for 2020 and the Village of Fayetteville could not respond to the financial impact of the pandemic. Although Olson has been mayor for sixteen years, he could not get the Village of Fayetteville back on track.
“The Town of Manlius received two bills from the Village of Fayetteville in 2020, totaling $192,000. This expense needed to be absorbed by the Town and, ultimately, taxpayers outside the Village. The Village may have been too dependent on ambulance revenue from an urgent care center in Fayetteville, which closed in May 2020. As the Village’s leader and GOP endorsed legislative candidate to represent Onondaga County District 10, there is a need for Mayor Olson to show that his experience translates into fiscal responsibility for this budget cycle,” said Councilor Heather Waters, Olson’s opponent in the District 10 County Legislative race.
The Comptroller’s office describes the report as “an early warning of fiscal stress to local governments and school districts by examining their financial information and aspects of their external environment; and [provides] feedback to local leaders, State officials and taxpayers about fiscal stress conditions to help them prioritize the needs of their community, understand trade-offs and follow through with tough decisions.”
As the legislator for Onondaga County, District 10, Heather Waters will not make balancing the budget someone else’s problem. She will bring fresh representation to the legislature and will collaborate across the aisle.
“To hold the highest standards for transparency and accountability, elected officials need to be forthright in sharing disappointing results, obstacles and missed opportunities. The community needed to hear about this budget misstep from Mayor Olson," said Waters.